Game Day Central: Blue Jackets vs. Penguins
BLUE JACKETS VS. PENGUINS
SUNDAY, 6 P.M.
FINAL: PENGUINS 5 | BLUE JACKETS 3
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- WATCH: Nikita Nikitin 3rd period goal
- WATCH: Second period highlights
- WATCH: Corey Tropp 2nd period goal
- WATCH: Boone Jenner 2nd period hit
- WATCH: First period highlights
- WATCH: Brandon Dubinsky 1st period goal
- LISTEN: Todd Richards post game
- LISTEN: Brandon Dubinsky post game
- LISTEN: Jack Johnson post game
- LISTEN: Corey Tropp post game
- LISTEN: Nikita Nikitin 3rd period goal
- LISTEN: Boone Jenner 2nd intermission
- LISTEN: Corey Tropp 2nd period goal
- LISTEN: Ryan Murray 1st intermission
- LISTEN: Brandon Dubinsky 1st period goal
SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: This has blossomed into quite the hockey game in downtown Columbus tonight. The building is buzzing after Corey Tropp delivered one of the goals of the year late in the second period, an absolutely filthy dangle through the Penguins defense and a better finish behind Zatkoff. His second of the season was pretty timely, too, pulling the Blue Jackets into a 2-2 tie after James Neal's second goal gave the Penguins a second period lead. It's been physical, combative, fast-paced...everything you ask for in a hockey game. The Blue Jackets brought their work boots in the second and out-shot Pittsburgh by a 12-8 margin, and it's setting up to be a wild third period at Nationwide Arena.
WATCH: Nationwide Arena was BOOOOOOONE'ing after this huge hit on Robert Bortuzzo!
WATCH: What a goal by Corey Tropp. Just filthy. We're tied at 2-2.
FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: On the whole, not a bad opening period for the Blue Jackets despite a rash of penalty trouble in the early going. When the second period begins, the Penguins will be completing their third power play opportunity (1:31 remains) by way of some careless penalties by the Blue Jackets. But, let's talk about that first period...some great work in the offensive zone by Brandon Dubinsky allowed him to cut inside on the Penguins' defense and zip a backhander through the legs of Jeff Zatkoff at 3:59 of the first to make it 1-0 Columbus. The Penguins answered less thn a minute later on the power play with James Neal's 12th of the season, a high-rising wrister over McElhinney's shoulder. That's where we stand after 20 minutes inside an energetic Nationwide Arena. Fun game so far.
WATCH: Brandon Dubinsky goes five-hole on Jeff Zatkoff to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead.
#CBJ SOCIAL CONTEST: It's time to #DefendNWA for this big Metropolitan Division match-up against the Penguins...so we're giving away two pairs of tickets to the CBJ Social Station today!
How does one win those tickets? Read on...
Tweet us a picture at @BlueJacketsNHL using #CBJ (creativity counts, folks!) of the jersey number of the Blue Jackets player who scored the team's only goal in their most recent meeting with the Penguins.
You have until 3 pm...good luck!
INSIDE EDGE: Today's podcast features the return of Jody Shelley (didn't you miss him?), and he and Bob McElligott talk Jackets-Penguins, managing opportunities and mistakes, and defending home ice. Listen here --> PODCAST
UPDATE (11:10 AM): Penguins coach Dan Bylsma announced after their morning skate that Jeff Zatkoff will start in goal against the Blue Jackets. He posted a shutout (the first of his career) on Nov. 2 at Nationwide Arena.
PRE GAME AUDIO: Ryan Johansen | Mark Letestu | Todd Richards
UPDATE (10:40 AM): Todd Richards just said Derek MacKenzie will take warm-ups tonight and then a decision will be made as to whether he plays vs. Pittsburgh.
UPDATE (10:30 AM): Here are the Blue Jackets' defense pairs for tonight's game...
Tyutin - Johnson
Murray - Wisniewski
Nikitin - Savard
Forward lines may change depending on MacKenzie's status. He has not officially been ruled out for tonight's game.
UPDATE (9:45 AM): Curtis McElhinney starts tonight for Columbus.
UPDATE (9:45 AM): David Savard has returned to practice today after missing yesterday's skate. Looks like he's good to go tonight.
UPDATE (9:40 AM): The Blue Jackets are on the ice for their morning skate at Nationwide Arena. Derek MacKenzie is not practicing and Ryan Craig has not yet arrived from Springfield. At this point, it doesn't appear likely that MacKenzie will play tonight against Pittsburgh.
MORNING SKATE: Winners of three straight, the Blue Jackets are back at Nationwide Arena for a quick one-game stop before heading out on a West Coast trip to ring in the new year. The Blue Jackets are scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. morning skate at Nationwide Arena, and we'll have complete coverage for you right here at Game Day Central. Also, look for lineup changes, thoughts on the match-up against the Penguins, storylines from the other side and an interview with coach Todd Richards. Stay tuned to this page for the latest!
The Blue Jackets do not expect any lineup changes from what we saw Friday night in New Jersey, a hard-fought 2-1 shootout win that was more about patience and more patience than anything else.
Derek MacKenzie and David Savard both missed practice on Saturday, but Richards said they're considered day-to-day and are expected to play Sunday.
Assuming no other changes, expect the forward lines and defense pairs to remain the same. Curtis McElhinney is slated for his second straight start in goal.
AT COLORADO AVALANCHE
TUESDAY, 8 P.M.